Snapshot blown out and potentially useless?

Talbot Streetscape Photo Brought Back From the Dead

Hey! You’ve got to check out this streetscape photo I shot on Monday mid-afternoon. Normally, this is no big deal. Normally, this original photo would not get any attention from me and sit dead in my archives. 

Rightfully so, this photo came at complete random. See here is what happened:

My newish Sony A7riii was suddenly delaying the shutter release. It was like there was a 2-second timer before the camera would fire. Not a huge deal, but I didn’t want to try and time shots out like that. 

There are so many settings and the menu system of the A7riii isn’t the best. I decided to sit down on some shaded steps to figure out what setting was causing this issue. 

Leaving my camera on the tripod, crooked as anything, I was adjusting settings and then releasing the shutter to see if everything was as I wanted it. Made sure no self-timer was on.

But, every time I tried, there was still this short delay. Every time I was hitting the shutter, I was still taking pictures but I had no idea what was actually being photographed. The images didn’t matter at this point. I wanted to kill that 2-second delay. 

Finally, I found the culprit within the bracketing settings and needed to change the delay to 0 seconds. Huzzah, the shutter now fired instantly! 

Thinking nothing of the photos captured during that time, I went on with shooting and practicing somewhere else downtown.

Once home, I noticed these photos and didn’t even want to import them to my hard drive. Something in the back of my mind said to import the images because “you just never know.”

The import was a good idea because, through my curiosity, the streetscape photo was brought back from the dead. 

You’ll see the transition below and find out why I fall in love with the Sony A7riii more and more.

Original Talbot Streetscape Photo

Snapshot blown out and potentially useless?
The original photo – straight out of the Sony A7riii

 

This isn’t much of an exciting image. It’s blown out in places, the buildings are falling over and back, and the SUV in the left corner is just useless. 

My curiosity was peaked though. The A7riii is supposed to have amazing dynamic range. This was a great opportunity to see that first hand. 

In Lightroom, I adjusted some basic settings: Exposure, Highlights, Whites. I also did some Transform adjustments to get the buildings standing straight again. 

Suddenly, this photo had a chance. Normally those blown out, white areas in the photo wouldn’t be fixable. The exceptional dynamic range of the A7Riii seriously came through! As that being a big reason I upgraded to the camera, I was really happy.

Here’s how it looked after those quick modifications.

Streetscape Photo After Quick Edit

Edited streetscape photo and brought back to life
Photo brought back to life with some quick adjustments in Lightroom

 

As I said, I was blown away in by the recovered detail. However, the image wasn’t doing much for me. It was a big meh. 

Before giving up on it, I remembered this was a 42mp image. I wanted all those megapixels because they present the ability to crop images and still be left with large image sizes.

I decided to crop into the image quite a bit.

Cropped Streetscape Photo

Talbot Streetscape photo cropped
Talbot Streetscape photo cropped square

 

This is a significant crop! I was left with an image that was around 4000×4000. Still amazing for any person’s need. If you think you wouldn’t need such a high megapixel camera, I’d think again because of the ability to crop. This kind of crop-ability extends to my clients. They are always welcome to crop images to suit their needs or highlight something.

After cropping, this photo went from a distracting snapshot of downtown to a photo that looks like it was purposely framed and deliberate. There are clear subjects and I enjoy the image more and more. 

Even the woman walking is just stepping out of the shadow and into the light. I couldn’t help but laugh a little. 

Remember, I didn’t even try to shoot this photo. All I was doing was randomly pressing the shutter and hoping for no delay. 

The photo was brought back from the dead and we get to experience what it might be like around 3 pm on Talbot St, downtown, London.

Yes, the A7riii helped a lot because of the amazing dynamic range, but curiosity was also highly required. As for the crop, there are a few different ways the shot could be cropped still. Imagine how nice it is to edit the photos you properly expose and frame 🙂

I’m reminded of the importance to just get out and shoot. This shot is proof that you can take photos without even looking. Shoot from the hip. haha.

I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes post and before and after. This is a perfect example of why I go out and shoot for myself a lot. I get to learn my camera more and I never know what I might come home with on my memory cards.

Go check one of the photos you thought was dead on your hard drive, if you didn’t delete them already. See if there are any that might be recoverable too.

If not, maybe it’s time to grab a Sony A7Riii like me, ha! 

PS. Did you spot the Goose?

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